Before the Storm

Attorney General’s Department
Serious gaming: teaching emergency management and disaster resilience.
This point-and-click adventure game started with the shortest brief we’ve ever received: an envelope-sized brochure. From this short outline of the four phases of storm preparation, Millipede built the story of iGor the robot, desperately preparing his spooky mansion home for the coming storm despite his disinterested and slightly weird housemates.

The brief

We were presented with a simple brief from the Australian Emergency Management Institute’s Schools Division: build a mobile learning game to get middle-school kids (aged 9–14 years old) thinking about storm preparation.

Along with a fixed budget and launch date, the client wanted to deliver key messages as well as use the production process to learn about mobile game development.

The result

We built a point-and-click adventure game in four stages, to align with AEMI’s four phases of storm preparation. The active steps of storm preparation were storified to appeal to kids. The game model supports learning by doing, by exploring the game space to find and use the elements required for effective preparation.

While Before the Storm is a serious game, we ensured the content was pitched in an appropriate manner for the target audience. Humour is used for appeal, but also for retention – kids are more likely to retain and recall messages this way.

While the mad scientist builds a world-conquering robot, his hapless cyborg offsider tries to prepare the house for storms. Help iGor search the house to find all the items he needs for an emergency survival kit, then use these items to prepare and repair the property, before and after the storm hits!

Many storm preparation activities broke down into complex steps, which needed to be executed across multiple phases of the game. Some activities were also difficult to describe in simple visuals for children. Our design focused on providing high quality, engaging graphics and animation without over-simplifying important concepts, with a strong original narrative driving learning objectives and propelling the story to its conclusion.

Before the Storm was deployed to iOS, Android and web.

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